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SCVNews.com | Friday COVID Roundup: Safety Measures Recommended for Fourth of July Weekend

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 10 new deaths throughout L.A. County, 7,324 new cases countywide and 251 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.

This new data brings Los Angeles County death totals to 32,344, county case totals to 3,125,299 and Santa Clarita Valley case totals to 81,694, with 480 total SCV deaths from COVID-19 since March of 2020.

There are 791 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 12,184,364 individuals, with 23% of people testing positive.

Of the 10 new deaths reported today, six people were between the ages of 65-79 and four people were aged 80 years or older. Of the 10 newly reported deaths, nine had underlying health conditions.

Today’s positivity rate is 13.8%.

Data is by date reported by DPH, but does not necessarily represent the date of testing, hospitalization, or death.

Cases Increase and Several Early Alert Signals Move to High Concern

Public Health is continuing to track the impact of the pandemic in L.A. County using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Community Levels framework and the County’s Early Alert Signals.

Currently, the county remains at the CDC designated COVID-19 Medium Community Level. However, there are increasing concerns about the impact of new Omicron sub-variants on transmission and hospitalizations that could result in the County moving into the High Community Level designation sometime later this summer.

Our seven-day case rate is currently at 326 cases per week per 100,000 people, an increase from last week when the case rate was 307.

The first of two hospital metrics in the CDC Community Levels Framework is the seven-day total of new hospital admissions per 100,000, which rose this past week to 8.1 admissions per 100,000 people. This is a 56% increase compared to one month ago. The second hospital metric, the seven-day average for the proportion of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, also increased this past week to 4.2%.

If the county moves into the CDC designated High Community Level and remains there for two consecutive weeks, the county would implement a universal indoor masking requirement for everyone age 2 and older in LA County as a safety measure aligned with the CDC framework. The safety measure would remain in effect until the county returned to the CDC Medium Community Level designation, or lower, for two consecutive weeks.

It’s important to note that Public Health can’t predict with certainty what the future hospitalization trend will look like. Hospitalizations could level off or begin to decline. With the continued proliferation of new Omicron subvariants, it is very difficult to accurately predict the rate of hospitalizations, so Public Health will continue to closely monitor the CDC metrics.

Because hospitalizations are a lagging indicator, it is important to also track other metrics that indicate areas of concern and/or risk. Our Early Alert signals track both community and sector specific pandemic activity. As a reminder, school outbreaks will not be tracked over the summer since schools are closed.

Six of the seven Early Alert metrics Public Health are tracking continue to convey cause for Medium or High Concern. Moreover, in the past week, four Early Alert Signals moved upward in the level of concern: The case rate in the lowest income areas and the number of new outbreaks at Skilled Nursing Facilities per week, both moved up to High Concern. The number of new outbreaks in settings for People Experiencing Homelessness is now at Medium Concern. And the number of worksite clusters increased, moving from Medium to High Concern for the first time since Public Health started tracking this metric in early March.

There was also an uptick in the percentage of Emergency Department Visits. The only measure indicating Low Concern is the number of sewer systems with a two-fold increase in viral load.

When a sector-specific metric moves up in level of concern, additional safety measures are implemented, and remain in place until the level of concern has dropped for two weeks. For example, although there has been some fluctuation in the elevated level of concerns at nursing homes based on their outbreak numbers, and they move between Medium and High Concern for a couple of weeks now, the enhanced protection measures that were put in place under High Concern are still in place – requiring staff to wear N95 respirators at all times in the facility, conducting routine testing twice weekly for staff and weekly for residents, regardless of vaccination status, and moving, where possible, communal activities outdoors.

“I send my deepest sympathies and wishes of peace and comfort to the many families who have lost a loved one from COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Since July 4 is right around the corner and many of us are looking forward to celebrating Independence Day with family and friends, it is important to remember that many of our loved ones may be older adults, or have serious underlying health conditions, or not yet been vaccinated and boosted. Given the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations, and the increased circulation of the more infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, it is extra important to take steps that reduce the risk of transmission especially over the long holiday weekend; this helps us protect ourselves, our families, and our community. With a little planning, you can have a great time celebrating while keeping each other safe. Please be sure to remind friends and family to stay home and skip the celebration if they feel sick or have tested positive. It is also a great idea for everyone to test themselves before getting together, ideally on the day of the gathering. It is always best to celebrate outdoors, and if people come indoors for part of the gathering, wearing a mask is advisable, particularly if there are individuals at high risk of severe illness should they become infected. Let’s use the tools at hand to enjoy our summer, our holiday, and our time with others.”

A wide range of data and dashboards on COVID-19 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health are available on the Public Health website at http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

To keep workplaces and schools open, residents and workers are asked to:

– Get tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure, or have symptoms, or are gathering with people not in your household

– Adhere to masking requirements when indoors or at crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status

– Residents are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.

For information on where you can get tested, please visit www.covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/.

For updated isolation and quarantine guidance, please visit www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 5 years old and older to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at all Public Health vaccination sites and many community sites where first, second, and third doses are available.

To find a vaccination site near you, or to make an appointment, please visit:

www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) or

www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish).

William S. Hart Union High School District COVID-19 Dashboard

The William S. Hart Union High School District provides ongoing information to our community regarding COVID-19 cases while maintaining confidentiality for our students and staff. The COVID-19 case data below is updated regularly to indicate any currently confirmed COVID-19 positive case in staff members or students by school site. The data below is specific to individuals who have been physically present on a District campus within 14 days of receiving a positive COVID-19 test. The District, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, conducts contact tracing and directly notifies and provides resources for parents of students identified as close contacts (6 feet or less for 15 cumulative minutes or more).

Note: To see the communication process in the event of a positive COVID-19 case, visit https://www.hartdistrict.org/apps/pages/covid-19dashboard.

Schools Community Dashboard
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Student Dashboard

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Staff Dashboard

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Santa Clarita Valley Friday Update
As of 4 p.m. Friday, the L.A. County Public Health dashboard reported no additional deaths in the city of Santa Clarita, leaving the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the SCV at 480.

The following is the community breakdown per L.A. County’s dashboard:

Santa Clarita: 391

Castaic: 31

Acton: 17

Stevenson Ranch: 15

Unincorporated Canyon Country: 9 (revised from 10)

Agua Dulce: 6

Val Verde: 3 (revised from 4)

Valencia: 2

Unincorporated Bouquet Canyon: 2

Elizabeth Lake: 1

Newhall: 1

unincorporated Saugus/Canyon Country: 1

Lake Hughes: 1

 

SCV Cases

Of the 81,694 cases reported to Public Health for the SCV to date, the community breakdown is as follows:

Santa Clarita: 60,244

Castaic: 8,334

Stevenson Ranch: 4,772

Canyon Country (unincorporated portion): 2,898

Acton: 1,637

Val Verde: 914

Agua Dulce: 845

Valencia (unincorporated portion west of I-5): 775

Saugus (unincorporated portion): 364

Elizabeth Lake: 229

Bouquet Canyon: 164

Lake Hughes: 169

Saugus/Canyon Country: 103

Newhall (Unincorporated portion): 92

Sand Canyon: 52

San Francisquito/Bouquet Canyon: 37

Placerita Canyon: 17

*Note: The county is unable to break out separate numbers for Castaic and PDC/NCCF because the county uses geotagging software that cannot be changed at this time, according to officials. Click here for the LASD COVID-19 dashboard.

 

California Friday

The California Department of Public Health now updates their numbers on Tuesday and Friday. The information below is from the most recent data released Friday, June 24.

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Vaccinations

– 77,630,160 total vaccines administered.

– 84% of the eligible population (5+) has been vaccinated with at least one dose.

– 35,219 people a day are receiving COVID-19 vaccination (average daily dose count over 7 days).

Cases

– California has 9,431,299 confirmed cases to date.

– Friday’s average case count is 14,768 (average daily case count over 7 days).

– Unvaccinated people are 5.4 times more likely to get COVID-19 than boosted individuals (June 6, 2022 – June 12, 2022).

Testing

– The testing positivity rate is 14.8% (average rate over 7 days).

Hospitalizations

– There are 3,467 hospitalizations statewide.

– There are 372 ICU patients statewide.

– Unvaccinated people are 7.5 times more likely to be hospitalized than boosted individuals (June 6, 2022 – June 12, 2022).

Deaths

– There have been 91,701 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

– COVID-19 claims the lives of 16 Californians each day (average daily death count over 7 days).

– Unvaccinated people are 14.5 times more likely to die than boosted individuals (May 30, 2022 – June 5, 2022).

Health Care Workers

As of June 30, local health departments have reported 168,085 confirmed positive cases in health care workers and 581 deaths statewide.

Testing Turnaround Time

The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of June 19 to June 25, the average time patients waited for test results was 0.8 day. During this same time period, 86% of patients received test results in one day and 97% received them within two days.

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)

As of June 27, there have been 1004 cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) reported statewide. MIS-C is a rare inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems. MIS-C can require hospitalization and be life threatening.

Additional Updates

Mask Guidance: Under California’s mask guidance, universal masking is required only in specified higher risk settings like hospitals, public transit and congregate living facilities. Unvaccinated persons are required to mask in all indoor public settings. Fully vaccinated individuals are recommended to continue indoor masking when the risk may be high. Workplaces will continue to follow the COVID-19 prevention standards set by CalOSHA. Local health jurisdictions may implement requirements that are stricter than state guidance.

Slow the Spread: Get Vaccinated and Boosted for COVID-19

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated and unboosted.

Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible.

It is recommended that every vaccinated person 12 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least five months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.

Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.

Your Actions Save Lives

Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

Keep California Healthy
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:

– Get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Californians age 16+ are eligible to make an appointment.

– If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.

– If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.

– Keep gatherings small and outdoors and follow state and local public health guidance.

– Wear a mask and get the most out of masking – an effective mask has both good fit and good filtration.

– Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

– Delay non-essential travel outside of California until you are fully vaccinated. Follow California’s travel advisory.

– Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.

– Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.

– Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.

Additional data and udpates:

Tracking COVID-19 in California

State Dashboard – Daily COVID-19 data

County Map – Local data, including tier status and ICU capacity

Data and Tools – Models and dashboards for researchers, scientists, and the public

Blueprint for a Safer Economy– Data for establishing tier status

COVID-19 Race & Ethnicity Data – Weekly updated Race & Ethnicity data

Cases and Deaths by Age Group – Weekly updated Deaths by Age Group data

Health Equity Dashboard – See how COVID-19 highlights existing inequities in health

Tracking Variants – Data on the variants California is currently monitoring

Safe Schools for All Hub – Information about safe in-person instruction

School Districts Reopening Map – data on public schools and reported outbreaks

Always check with trusted sources for the latest accurate information about novel coronavirus:

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

California Department of Public Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Spanish

World Health Organization

L.A. County residents can also call 2-1-1.

What to Do if You Think You’re Sick
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough or shortness of breath), call your health care provider before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken. More than 85 community testing sites also offer free, confidential testing: Find a COVID-19 Testing Site.

For more information about what Californians can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit Coronavirus (COVID-19) in California.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance webpage.

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SCVNews.com | Friday COVID Roundup: Safety Measures Recommended for Fourth of July Weekend
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